Guest blogger: Lindsay Wilson, Land's End Information Assistant
It's been another busy week here at Land's End. We're very pleased to say that both of the great black-backed gull chicks survived the storms we had the weekend before last. They continue to grow at an impressive rate. Not only are they bigger, but, although still fluffy, their "proper" flight feathers are now developing and can be clearly seen on the wings. It really is amazing how fast they're growing up!
Another highlight over the last few days are the increasing number of visits from the choughs! For the last three days we've had the same family foraging (and relaxing on occasions) on the steep grassy slope across the gully. It's wonderful to see the fledglings from this year following their parents and getting fed on little grubs that they find in the short grass.
But definitely the highlight for this week has been the arrival of the basking sharks at Land's End! The first was sighted on Monday, much to the delight of the lucky visitors who were there when it appeared. The huge beasty (we estimated at about 6 to 7m in length, not at all big by basking shark standards) was close enough to the shore that we could see the large triangular dorsal fin clearly with the naked eye, with the tail fin sweeping along behind and from time to time even its nose poked above the surface of the waves. The beautiful fish carried on working the water outside of the bay for much of the afternoon until we eventually lost sight of it as it moved further away into choppier water. We were lucky and excited to have another sighting of a basking shark the following day. With the choughs in one direction and the shark in the other we simply didn't know where to look!